Archive for February, 2009

Household Recycling

February 17th, 2009 2 comments

Kerbside recycling of household waste got off to a shaky start here in Bolton with some properties not given recycling containers while properties in the neighbouring street were (a farcical situation which still exists at our old address). The council also tried to reduce the non-recyclable waste collection to fortnightly without first providing sufficiently large bins for recyclable waste – an issue on which the previous council administration lost power in the local election.

I must say however that household recycling now works very well for us.

Four bins

4 binsWe now have four bins for waste collection:

  • Crimson for plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, tin cans, drinks cans, aerosols and tin foil;
  • Beige for paper, magazines, cardboard and drinks cartons;
  • Green for garden and uncooked kitchen vegetable waste*;
  • Black for non-recyclable or ‘residual’ waste.

Oddly, according to letters in the local paper, this is somehow confusing for some folk.

The black bin is emptied every week, while the others are emptied once a fortnight. As a family of four, even with this frequency we find that we usually only need to put the recyclable bins out once a month and often find that we can skip a week on the collection of the black residual bin.


Although the green bin meant that the amount of kitchen waste going into the black bin was reduced*, we found that we had a problem with fruit flies and smells in the green bin, especially in the summer.

composterWe decided to buy a composter and settled on a ‘dalek’ type. This means that we can also dispose of other items such as eggshells and teabags which would otherwise have gone in the black bin. Unlike the green bin, you can wrap the kitchen waste in newspaper to reduce the problem of fruit flies. I would recommend doing some reading up on composting as you need to keep a balance between what are called ‘greens’ and ‘browns’.

We have been using this for over eighteen months now and have yet to take anything out of it; it just keeps rotting down. The green bin is now hardly used expect for larger garden items such as pruned branches.

So what about other stuff?

Not everything can be collected at the kerbside but used or redundant items can still be recycled or reused. Used batteries go to the local Asda who have a collection point for recycling. Anything that we no longer need but is still serviceable, particularly children’s toys and clothes, are taken to charity shops or sold. I’ve even sold a 32″ widescreen TV with a picture fault on ebay; I’d rather see someone else get use out of it whether for spares or by getting it repaired. Clothing that is worn out is usually turned into rags for use in the garage.

* I have since read a letter in the Bolton News, stating that the council are telling people that the green bin is not to be used for kitchen vegetable waste, except that the Council’s own Waste & Recycling website clearly states in the A-Z under ‘V for Vegetable Waste’ that uncooked fruit and vegetable kitchen waste can be put in your green bin. (Screenshot here in case their website is down, which is often the case)

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